Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 5. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!
It’s Over, Move On
This week, we saw persistence play out in Washington, D.C. where Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the SCOTUS. Now, I’m not going to comment on that case here (you should be following my Twitter feed for that sort of nonsense) but it did remind me of a similar NFL situation… when will Dez Bryant just accept reality and move on? Bryant is like a stalker, constantly reminding anyone who will listen how good he was for the Cowboys, and how wrong they were for cutting him loose. Look, it doesn’t matter if Bryant thinks the Cowboys did him wrong by cutting him or that the Cowboys’ receivers blow; sometimes you just make a decision and stick with it.
Give it up, Dez… just move on, whether that means playing for another team or retiring.
Dazed and Confused
There’s certain teams whose records I feel must be manipulated by the CIA or FBI or the Deep State or whatever it is the rubes are afraid of these days, simply because they just don’t make sense. Here’s my list of teams with good records that are just pretenders: Dolphins, Titans and Bears, each sporting a 3-1 record. The Bears at least have Khalil Mack as the logical reason for their early-season success, but what about the other two? I can’t name a single player (outside of Kiko Alonso) on the Dolphins that I have on any one of my 15 fantasy teams, while the best player on the Titans might be Ryan Succop— and he’s a kicker.
On the other hand, I have teams like the Falcons, Colts and Vikings who are a lot worse than I thought they’d be.. the Falcons, especially, are getting great play from Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and rookie Calvin Ridley but thanks to a rash of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, are at 1-3. I still think they have a viable shot at a wildcard, but they need to do something about that defense. The Vikings are a complete mystery: they can’t run the ball, the can’t play defense any more. They’re sitting at 1-2-1, despite some great performances from Kirk Cousins, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen— thanks to a defense that is playing almost inexplicably poorly. As for the Colts… bless their hearts, they should be 3-2 but are stuck at 1-4. They lack talent as a team, especially on the O-line and defense, but this team has a certain quality to it that has me rooting for them to succeed.
Interesting Players for This Week
Straight from the flawless algorithms of Mighty Max come the top match-ups at every offensive position for this weekend’s games …
Note: a carat (^) symbol next to a player’s name indicates an injury designation negatively impacting his ranking.
Teams on bye this week: Chicago, Tampa Bay.
1. Carson Wentz, PHI (vs. Min) – 36.38
2. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. NYG) – 35.26
3. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. Pit) – 28.30
4. Patrick Mahomes, KCC (vs. JAC) – 26.81
5. Kirk Cousins, MIN (vs. Phi) – 26.61
6. Jared Goff, LAR (vs. Sea) – 25.89
7. Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. Dal) – 24.95
8. Alex Smith, WAS (vs. NOS) – 24.49
9. Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. Oak) – 24.32
10. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. Atl) – 23.50
11. Baker Mayfield, CLE (vs. Bal) – 23.02
12. Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. Mia) – 22.50
13. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. WAS) – 22.48
14. Joe Flacco, BAL (vs. Cle) – 22.08
15. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (vs. Det) – 21.59
Carson Wentz is playing himself back into Top 10 levels, and since the Vikings seem to have forgotten how to play defense, there’s good reason to have him in the top spot this week… Matt Ryan has been playing lights out, so it’s hard to believe the Falcons are only 1-3; but with their defense plagued with injuries, the Falcons will need to continue to put the ball in the air… Despite what we saw against the Giants last week, the Saints’ defense still can’t stop the deep ball– so look for Alex Smith to have a big game… we have a Baker Mayfield sighting in the rankings!
1. Joe Mixon, CIN (vs. Mia) – 31.47
2. Alvin Kamara, NOS (vs. WAS) – 29.62
3. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. NYG) – 27.27
4. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. Sea) – 25.75
5. Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs. Oak) – 24.33
6. Saquon Barkley, NYG (vs. Car) – 21.76
7. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. Hou) – 21.43
8. James Conner, PIT (vs. Atl) – 18.75
9. Aaron Jones, GBP (vs. Det) – 17.33
10. Adrian Peterson^, WAS (vs. NOS) – 17.31
11. Jay Ajayi, PHI (vs. Min) – 15.97
12. Carlos Hyde, CLE (vs. Bal) – 15.42
13. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (vs. LAC) – 15.32
14. T.J. Yeldon, JAC (vs. KCC) – 14.97
15. Chris Thompson, WAS (vs. NOS) – 14.92
16. Kareem Hunt, KCC (vs. JAC) – 14.77
17. David Johnson, ARI (vs. SFO) – 14.69
18. Chris Carson, SEA (vs. LAR) – 12.71
19. Alex Collins, BAL (vs. Cle) – 11.53
20. Dion Lewis, TEN (vs. Buf) – 11.25
21. Phillip Lindsay, DEN (vs. NYJ) – 11.20
22. Isaiah Crowell, NYJ (vs. Den) – 10.73
23. Kerryon Johnson, DET (vs. GBP) – 10.57
24. Austin Ekeler, LAC (vs. Oak) – 10.42
25. Matt Breida^, SFO (vs. Ari) – 9.81
Leonard Fournette will be sitting out this week, so T.J. Yeldon gets the opportunity to produce again. It’ll be interesting to see how much the Jags lean on Yeldon as they try to keep the Chiefs’ potent offense off the field… Joe Mixon should have a great return from injury against the Dolphins this week, and the Bengals will need him since Giovanni Bernard is out with his own injury… As of this writing, both Adrian Peterson and Matt Breida have been downgraded in the rankings a bit due to their injury designations; as kickoff approaches, check their injury status and judge accordingly as to whether or not to move them up the rankings a bit, since both have plus match-ups this week.